Wednesday, December 15, 2010

i am...

HARD

at least i've been told that i am. i've been called brutish, mannish, mean. i've been called cold, harsh... a bitch. at times i curse like a sailor and sling insults without guilt. i can muster up all of the grit from my bronx streets in my vocals and unleash.

and i am surrounded by women just like me... my mama is hard, my friends are too. we have been told that we're mean, nasty... aggressive personalities.

yet a couple of weeks ago, while in a business meeting at my church, me and two other aggressive women sat in a circle grilling, mean-mugging and surely intimidating a potential employer,a male potential employer.. only to be punked.  i thought for sure my poker face and cold interior would get us what we wanted. i knew that the older woman among us, the negotiator, would surely lay down the mandates and we'd win. i was convinced that the more aggressive woman, the louder and physically larger one of us would compel this man and he'd fall in line. he did not. what he did was he gave us his final terms, flipped his hands at our negotiations and was just about put his coat on and walk out of the meeting until we were forced to give in...

i won't go on to talk about how us three women and most of the women in my circle are single... i already mentioned how people and especially men call us mean... i was even called an alpha male by one prospect... now before i continue and conclude this post... this is not a whoa is me, i need a strong man who can handle this strong woman tirade... instead i recognize and aim to relinquish the need, want, desire, compulsion to be something i was not created to be. i admit that i am not always mean, sometimes the softer side of me shines through but i've been tough for so long. i've had to handle situations, assert myself in places, make decisions and a sturdy exterior has been produced... this recent incident made me realize that you can catch more flies with honey, not vinegar. we probably could have worked out a deal slightly skewed in our favor had we been a little more sweet tempered. and most of all, i realized that aggressive, to a real man, i really, REALLY a turn off - and this is not just to men. this tough girl can relax herself, the yin, can allow the yang to create balance...

this is one of my favorite songs... by a former "tough girl" mary j. blige...
here is "father in you"...








6 comments:

Moanerplicity said...

I don't know if you're being mad hard on yourself, brutally honest or simply accept who you are & own it.

Some of my peeps were raised in the Boogie Down, in Brooklon, in Hollis & they tend to be MO BLUNT, MO APT To GO OFF on a mofo, raise MO HELL, be MO HARD, MO LOUD, MO MEAN, MO GANGSTA all in order to survive... & not be seen as vics, or punks/ punkettes.

I guess it's better to release your stuff than to keep it bottled up & become a candidate for a potential heart attack or stroke down the line.

But sometimes I wonder if it's worth all the stress, all the messiness, all the emotional ish & all the energy it takes to be HARD when there are times when you'd rather mellow the hell out & simply just wanna BE.

Smell me?

One.

Mizrepresent said...

This was brutally honest, really. I have had to be agressive in my life, esp during business and at work since i hold a position that was held by men, and was seen as the low-one on the totem pole. I don't carry this much over to my personal life unless i feel someone is attempting to walk over me, then i stand. There is nothing wrong with being strong, but we must use discernment to determine when our strength is actually a weakness, or a useless mechanism to get what we want. I don't pretend to be weak, never will, i am the most vulnerable of all and yet can use all i got to muster up the will to overcome. So i guess i'm saying ain't nothing really wrong with who you are or had to become, since you already realize that there too is a softer side to you that everyone loves and appreciates as much as the stronger side of you. BE You girl!

MsKnowitAll said...

thank you for stopping through and commenting mr. ross...

i started the post with "i am hard or at least i've been told that i am" because i don't see in myself what other people see or might see.

the incident at church really makes me laugh... because we just knew that the interview would turn out a different way. we weren't really punked, we were just put in our places... men are the heads and a leader will take his place.

sometimes hardness is really fueled by the presence of other hard women or the absence of men - now that's another post for another day...

i'm not a woman with a hair-trigger temper ready to pop off however after some introspection i see that i can lay a lot of the hardness down and as you said, just be.

hey miz... using discernment is key. i serve in leadership capacities in church and at work but i've seen that at a time or two it has spilled over. i love and appreciate all sides of me. it just about keeping it balanced... thank you lady!

Lovebabz said...

I am thinking about these kinds of things for myself as well. Coming out of relationship with someone who thought I was too hard, tough, made me think about who I want to be going forward. I am ready to embrace a more softer side. His opinion of me has to be weighed against his insecurities and his own strengths. But there is something to be said about thinking about what does it mean to be a woman and how we balance our tough world exterior with our softer feminine side.

Happy Holidays beautifu one!

MsKnowitAll said...

thank you Beautiful Sister Lovebabz! and may you and the children enjoy a wonderful holiday season!

after break-ups i always reassess and reaffirm, just as i am sure you are doing. so in the new year, it is my hope and prayer that you attract someone who has also embraced and has the balance of his hard and soft side.

Moanerplicity said...

I like your response. As men, when we come across aggression & bump heads with it (no matter which gender its encased within) it can feel as if it's some kind of attack. The utter fear of punkdom will NOT allow us to be attacked without a reaction! So, that's usually when we tend to puff up, act out & man up, whether physically, vocally, or intellectually. Only, that's not always the correct way to roll either... it's just the general response most of us will manifest.

In truth, we're ALL works in steady progress (hopefully!). We all need to learn how to deal w/ personalities that are 180-degrees different than our own without trying to stifle them. We have to learn how to apply finesse to OUR words when words come at us that don't mirror our own, & most especially when attitudes chafe against our own...

& we all need adapt to more natural ways to just BE.


One.